BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Back to Kizer.
After sitting the rookie from Notre Dame for a week, Browns head coach Hue Jackson has decided to return DeShone Kizer to the starting quarterback role this week against Tennessee.
Jackson informed the players Wednesday morning marking the 20th time in the last 43 games the Browns changed their starting quarterback. Only 9 of the changes have been due to injury.
“I think it was the right thing to do. I know it was the right thing to do a week ago,” Jackson said of benching Kizer for a week.
Kizer was benched at halftime of the Browns’ 17-14 loss to the Jets on Oct. 8 and he did not start last weeks game in Houston after struggling in his first 5 starts.
“I knew that there was going to be another opportunity for me to potentially play this year,” Kizer said. “Obviously, it came sooner than most expected.”
Jackson declined to say he’ll stick with Kizer “for the rest of the season but he’s the guy right now.”
“That is not anything that I can control,” Kizer said. “I think it is understood now that if you are not performing there is definitely going to be a guy who can perform, but it is on me to make sure that that question never comes back up, go out there, do my job to the best of my ability and make sure that No. 7 is out there leading this team for years to come.”
Kizer ranks dead last in the NFL in passer rating (49.5), completion percentage (50.9) and yards per attempt (5.35). He has an NFL-high 9 interception and has fumbled 3 times and lost 2. Of the 11 turnovers – 5 have come in the red zone.
“When you are on the sideline, you get to feel the momentum of the game a little more than when you are out there,” Kizer said. “You get to see the reactions of everyone. From the fans to the coaching staff, to the defense, you get to see all the different parts that move along throughout a game. For me, it really showed last week the importance of making sure that the ball is just simply out of harm’s way and what positive plays can do for the team.”
Kevin Hogan replaced Kizer in the starting lineup in a 33-17 loss at Houston that saw him throw 3 interceptions and be flagged for intentional grounding resulting in a safety. Hogan finished the game with a 38.1 rating after completing 20 of 37 passes for 140 yards with a touchdown.
Hogan will be the No. 3 QB this week and Cody Kessler will be elevated to the backup role but Jackson stressed the change there had nothing to do with performance.
“He has bruised ribs,” Jackson said. “They are pretty bruised in my opinion. It is not because of performance. I will be the first to tell you that. I’m not going to put a guy out there or let him go through the week… It was tough. He was running a ball today, if you guys saw him, and I knew what was going to happen. Sure enough, he was trying to be tough and prove that he is ready to play. He gets hit right on the spot and drops the ball and everything. That tells me that coach is right. I’m sure he is saying that coach is right, player is wrong because you have to be protecting of these guys in that situation.
“They want to be out there. I think I have a pretty good idea of what a guy can do and what a guy can’t do, and I don’t think he is ready to be out there right now.”
The Browns enter Sunday’s game 0-6 for the second straight year and fourth time in franchise history.